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Why put usability first

With web design, when we think about flow we usually mean "task flows" or "flow charts" but there's a different type of flow that you should keep in mind. It's that feeling of complete absorption when you're engaged in something you like to do without being disrupted by frustration or boredom due to steps that are misdirecting, too long or overly taxing.
Flow, as a mind state, was primarily introduced by psychology scientist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and is described by a distorted sense of time, a low level of self-consciousness, and total participation in the process at hand. Software developers often feel it when they're working on their code, gamers do feel it when playing Guitar Hero III, Christopher Cross felt it when he started his trip. For Web designers, it's exactly the feeling we want to promote in the users of our site.
How do we design sites that promote that feeling? Well, it begins with a site that sorts out a challenging problem and is complicated enough to ask for a certain amount of learning by people who use it. The goal should not certainly be to create a simple site. The purpose should be to develop a site that feels painless to use no matter how complicated it actually is. But wait, you might be thinking, hasn't there been a usability trend in web design over the last few years? Yes, but there's a learning curve for any site that want to solve a complex problem. You shouldn't mix usability with an urge to avoid excessive complexity.
The way to make the complex appear painless is to consider flow in your design. By creating a page that is smooth and intuitive and inspires flow, you make people get familiar with it in a shorter time, reduce the chance that existing users leave your site and change to another and create users that recommend your page to their friends. That results in more users, increased activity, and bigger awareness of your page.
The primary step in creating for flow is to determine certain goals for your future users. It's vital to create both a global goal along with smaller, phased goals. Goals help people understand what is their final destination and each step they have to take to arrive there.

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Icon editor ArtIcons Pro can find, extract, edit and create Windows icons in color depths up to 16 million colors. Import and export icon images, create and handle icon libraries. It supports the new icon format introduced in Windows XP (8-bit transparency). Download it

XP Icon editor IconXP can edit and create Windows icons in color depths up to 32-bit True Color. It supports the new icon format introduced in Windows XP (8-bit transparency). You can customize desktop and folder icons. Download it

Icon converter Any to Icon allows you to convert multiple BMP, JPEG, GIF, PNG, WBMP and WMF images to Windows icons in one action. It also breaks down entire icon libraries into individual icons. You can change color resolution and size to create customized icons. Download it

Icon editor and builder IconUtils is a complete icon and cursor solution. IconUtils package can edit icons and cursors, manage icon and cursor libraries, convert icons into images (in various graphic formats) and vice versa, customize Windows desktop and folder icons. Download it

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Cursor editor ArtCursors allows you to edit Windows cursors in color depths up to 16 million colors. You also can search files and folders for cursors, import and export cursor images and create cursor libraries for better and more efficient storage. Download it

Viewer AhaView supports all popular graphic formats, including JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, ICO, CUR, ANI, WBMP. You can browse images in thumbnail mode, view pictures full screen with zooming features, convert images to JPEG, PNG, BMP formats and manage files. Download it

Customize desktop icons CustomIcons is an ultimate tool for customizing the icons on you desktop, in Windows Start menu and many other locations. Using CustomIcons you can easily replace default Windows icons with the ones to your choice. Download it

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